The USA is loaded with heaps of fascinating places to explore. Read on for a list of the best National Parks the USA has to offer. You should definitely plan to visit!
Talk of vast land with miles of varied landscapes plus dramatic valleys and you’ll have a glimpse of what to expect. However, with over 61 awe-inspiring national parks dotted across the States, it can be pretty hard to pinpoint the very best. To help you narrow down the playground here is a guide to the best of the best.
8 of the Best National Parks in the USA That Should Top Your Bucket List
(image of the Grand Canyon)
The Grand Canyon is probably the most popular and one of the most visited national parks in the US. Thanks to its enormous size, you can visit the park several times and experience a completely new face. It’s so vast that you won’t need to take the same trail for a good number of visits.
Stand at the edge and watch the earth unfolding into an expanse of stunning gorges, majestic peaks, and vast plateaus.
Additionally, there are tons of epic activities you can do in the Grand Canyon, ranging from hiking and camping to mule riding and scenic drives. You can also take a helicopter ride over the park for a spectacular and unique vantage.
- Yosemite National Park, California
(image of dramatic cliffs in Yosemite National Park)
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Spread over 1,100 square miles in the renowned state of California, Yosemite is famed for its gigantic granite formations and its striking cliffs. Plus, it’s one of the most astounding National Parks USA takes pride in hosting.
If you are a nature fanatic, this national park has a thousand and one reasons to keep you coming back. From towering waterfalls to soaring peaks and not to mention the iconic half-dome which is one of the highlights of Yosemite National Park.
The half-dome poses quite a challenge even to the avid hikers (especially on sunny days). So be sure to bring lots of water and pack stacks of resilience.
- Yellowstone National Park, Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming
(An image of geothermal activities in Yellowstone National Park)
Yellowstone National Park is hands down the best nature hub. The park boasts abundant wildlife, breathtaking landscapes, and amazing geothermal activities. There is always a phenomenon to amaze even seasoned visitors.
Spread vastly across three States, Yellowstone National Park is one of those places that will never feel too crowded (despite being among the most frequented especially in summer).
Yellowstone was not only the first National Park in the USA to be established but also the first in the world.
- Mammoth Cave National Park USA, Central Kentucky
(An image of a cave in Mammoth Cave National Park)
Not only does Mammoth Cave National Park offer a wide range of fantastic attractions and activities, but it’s also known as the host of the largest cave system on the globe.
The tremendous underground terrain is staggering, to say the least. And the park is simply a treasure trove for outdoor enthusiasts. Whether you’re a caving novice or a professional spelunker, exploring Mammoth Cave is one of the most fulfilling adventures you’ll take in your life.
Basically, Mammoth Cave is divided into three sections; the Northside trails, the Southside trails, and the Visitor Center area trails.
The Northside is the largest part of the region, and it’s also host to the backcountry trails of the Park. The Southside, on the other hand, features shorter trails whilst the visitor center area offers awesome picnic sites. Some fun activities here include camping, hiking, and walking.
- Zion National Park, Utah
(image of mountain peaks in Zion National Park)
If you are an avid hiker that appreciates bewildering views, then Zion National Park should top your bucket list.
The lush evergreen plantations, the towering red rocks plus the sparkling Virgin River come together to create a formidable landscape.
There is always a fresh perspective from which you can have a unique experience of the park. You can opt to navigate the famed observation point and Angels Landing trails that offer an aerial view or you can simply wave through the gorgeous Virgin River.
You can also take in the scenery from the car by taking the Zion Canyon Scenic Drive.
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- Denali National Park, Alaska
(An Image of mountain ranges in Denali National Park)
Now, for a tranquil, calm yet captivating experience, you might want to consider one of the most remote National Parks USA has in store. The park is completely idyllic plus there are miles of breathtaking and pristine wilderness to admire.
One of the highlights of visiting the Denali National Park is hiking the legendary Mt Denali. It’s not only the highest mountain in Alaska but also the tallest peak in North America.
Since Denali Park is a little off the beaten track, be sure to visit the ‘Denali Visitor Center’ to get crucial information on safety, weather forecasts, trail ideas as well as bus schedules.
- Crater Lake, Oregon
(An image of Crater Lake)
Crater Lake is a world wonder formed as a result of violent volcanic eruptions spitting rocks and fire. It came to be after an erupting volcano formation fell upon itself creating a volcanic depression.
This National Park is a destination of all seasons. However, you must pack accordingly especially if you’re planning to visit during winter.
Most roads close down around this time of the year. So, this can inconvenience you if you’re not well prepared. Nonetheless, this gives you a great opportunity to access the park via fun means! Walk on cross-country skis or snowshoes as you enjoy the solitude through the snow-covered forest.
During winter, you can explore the stunning lake through boating or by taking a tour around the scenic Rim Drive.
- Volcanoes National Park, Hawaii
(An image of flowing lava)
For a treat of otherworldly terrain, you should plan a trip to Volcanoes National Park. The Kīlauea volcano is the most visited volcano in the world and also the most active in Hawaii. But that’s not all there is to see here!
With over 300,000 acres of lava ground, Volcanoes National Park is like nowhere else on this planet.
Witnessing the actual lava flow may come with a hefty price tag or a substantial level of fitness. But chances are you’ll find a thing along the way to amaze you. For instance, nothing beats the views of an erupting volcano at night!
There are lots of hiking trails, both moderate and hard. But you can rest assured that the experience will be worth the hassle!
So, there you have it – the best National Parks USA has to offer!